visit to Quetta is incomplete without a trip to Ziarat. Situated
133 kms(3 hours by car) from Quetta at an altitude of 2449 meters
above sea level, Ziarat is a holiday resort amidst one of the
largest and oldest juniper forests in the world. It is said
that some of the Juniper trees are as old as 5000 years.
The name Ziarat means "Shrine". A local saint, Kharwari
Baba, is believed to have rested in the valley and blessed it.
After his death he was buried here. People frequently visit
the saint's shrine, which is 10 kms from Ziarat.
research is being done in the forest nurseries to replace the
juniper forest with flowing trees as the regeneration of the
juniper is very slow.
The magic of Ziarat is its honey, its flowers which attain large
size here, its lush green grass and cool weather even in the
hottest months of summer. "Shinshoab", a lavender
like wild bush looks very lovely in twilights.
4416 acres in and around Ziarat are under apple orchards. The
apple grown in the orchards, particularly the black and red
kuku variety are delicious. A fair amount of black cherry is
also grown in Ziarat. The cherry season lasts from the 1st to
15th of June.
the ever-ascending hills and the deep ravine, there is a mile-long
stretch of flat land ideal for a peaceful walk. This is the
"Chashma Walk" which leads to the springs or a "Chashma"
that provide water for the town. It is only 2 kms from the "PTDC"
view from prospect point is rewarding. It lies at a height of
2713 meters above sea level and is 6 kms from Ziarat. The road
is mettled, but a walk is recommended.
at the peak with wind whistling through the forest one can see
the valley stretch out in undulating slopes in front. From a
nearby cliff, one can clearly see the highest peak of these
hills known as Khalefat, which rises to a height of 3487 metres.
There is a small rest house situated nearby. Prior reservation
may be made through the office of deputy Commissioner of Ziarat.
OF BABA KHARWARI:
shrine of Baba Kharwari is 8 kms from Ziarat town. A member
of Sarang Zai, his name was Tahir. He became a disciple of Nana
Sahib and a number of miracles are attributed to him. He is
buried in a valley about 8 kms from Ziarat. A large number of
people visit his shrine and offer sacrifices in his memory.
During Eid festival, the tribesmen gather around the shrine
and hold wrestling and marksmanship competitions.
kms from Ziarat is the picturesque Zindra. Zindra derives its
name from the Pushto word "Zindra" meaning "four
Zizree (16 kms) and Nauna Dam(20 kms) are also interesting places
for an outing near Ziarat.
residency with its lush green lawns, chinar trees and flowers
gardens commands a striking view of the whole valley. It is
of historical importance, as the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,
the founder of Pakistan, stayed there during his last illness.
It houses the relics of the father of the nation. The Residency
was built in 1882 by the British and used by the agent to the
Governor General as his summer headquarters.
lies 10 kms from Ziarat, off the main road to Quetta. A small
waterfall formed by the mountain spring flows down. It is a
2 kms walk from the main road to the waterfall and is an ideal
place for picnic.
is just 4 kms from Ziarat. It is a dramatic waterfall cascading
down the rocks and provides fun to the visitors.
VALLEY / TANGI:
13 kms from Ziarat on way to Loralai is the beautiful Chutair
valley. It is a 30 minutes drive to Chutair from Ziarat There
are green picnic spots in the valley. There is also a rest house
in case one wants to stay longer. The crude and rustic huts
made with the bark of juniper trees in which the inhabitants
of the area live, are strikingly different from dwellings in
other villages. Nearby is Chutair Tangi which is worth visiting.